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Helicopter pilot lost control in 'challenging wind conditions'

Thu, 09 Jun 2016

Matthew Chapman
Matthew Chapman

A helicopter pilot who was killed during last year's TT festival struggled to retain control of his aircraft in "challenging wind conditions".

That's the finding of the Air Accidents Investigation Branch which has released a report into the death of 48-year-old Matthew Chapman who was from Louth in Lincolnshire.

He'd flown two passengers from Bedfordshire to the Creg Na Baa on June 6th - at around 8.05am he left the area to fly back when his Bell Jetranger was caught in the wind.

Witnesses reported seeing the helicopter rotate and roll before pitching into the valley - the examination of the wreckage showed there'd been a "catastrophic failure" of the main rotor mast.

The report says the fuselage impact was "not survivable for the pilot" - a post mortem examination revealed he'd died from multiple injuries.

The AAIB says appropriate training in "mountain flying techniques" and the associated hazards could have assisted the pilot in either executing the flight successfully or making the decision not to fly.

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